The Disaster Research Center

Welcome to DRC

The Disaster Research Center was established in 1963 and now, fifty years later, DRC is celebrating its continued success in research, training, and service to the disaster community. DRC was established at The Ohio State University in 1963 by Professors E.L. Quarantelli, Russell Dynes, and J. Eugene Haas and moved to its current location at the University of Delaware in 1985. The Center was the first in the world devoted to the social scientific study of disasters.

Historically, DRC has conducted field interviews and extended research projects on group, organizational, and community preparation for, response to, and recovery from natural and technological disasters and other community-wide crises. While much of the research at DRC has been interdisciplinary throughout its existence, DRC has embarked on a new era as the Center builds on and maintains its foundation in social science while broadening its activities to embrace more explicitly interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and cross disciplinary research. Graduate and undergraduate training has been an integral component of DRC’s mission. Graduate researchers from DRC have gone on to careers at leading universities, prominent research centers, key disaster-oriented government agencies, and private sector organizations that deal with disaster and risk issues. All DRC research is intended to yield both basic scientific knowledge on disasters and information that can be applied to develop more effective plans and policies to reduce disaster impacts.

DRC activities have been supported by diverse sources, including:

  • National Science Foundation
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • NOAA Sea Grant Program
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research
  • Public Entity Risk Institute
  • U.S. Geological Survey

DRC Early History

A first-hand account of DRC’s history by Founder E.L. Quarantelli.